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The Complete Range of EMI First Generation Television Sets

For the 1936 Radiolympia, EMI presented four television models, the two television only sets, the 702 and 901 along with two outwardly very different sets that included a four waveband radio offering Medium and Long  wavebands and two Short wavebands covering from 16.7 metres to 141 metres. These were the HMV 900 and the Marconiphone 701. Both sets were priced at 120 guineas as against 95 guineas for the  television only models. The radio chassis was similar to that used in the Marconiphone 345/6 or HMV 480/1 but with a different tuning scale. The 345 is reviewed here. Apart from slight differences regarding the CRT sizes the circuitry the two television/radio models was identical to each other and also to that of the vision circuits of the 702 and 901 although mechanical chassis design of the timebase and power supply differed.

The HMV 900 looked similar to a conventional radiogram of the period with an opening lid to access the controls and fitted with a mirror for viewing the television picture displayed on a 12" CRT.

In contrast the Marconiphone 701 had two lifting lids to give access to the television controls on the left and radio controls on the right of a raised section where the picture was viewed from a 9" CRT via a fixed mirror and magnifying lens. A possible reason for using the 9" CRT was to reduce the overall cabinet height. (The 12" Emiscope 6/6 is 28" long and the 9" Emiscope 6/5 is 23.5" long.)

By March 1937 the 120 guinea sets had dropped in price to 80 guineas and the 95 guinea sets to 60 guineas and the frontal appearance of the 901 had been revised but the lower prices no longer included the cost of aerial installation.

Two months later in May 1937 the model range was extended to include television, radio and gramophone. Service information for the gramophone can be found here. This set carried the designation of Marconiphone Mastergram 703 and it was priced at 120 guineas with aerial included. The television picture was displayed on the mirror lid reflected from the same 12" CRT used in the 702, 900 and 901 models. Circuitry was again very similar to the earlier models but the CRT cage and the timebase and power supply chassis were mechanically more like those in the 702 and 901 rather than the 701 and 900 models.

No HMV equivalent to the "Mastergram" appeared at this time but for the 1937 Radiolympia in September HMV launched the Model 902 that was similar to the Marconiphone 701 but with the addition of a gramophone above the central television display. This was also priced at 120 guineas including the cost of the aerial installation. The 902 used the same 9" CRT viewed via a mirror and magifying lens that was used in the Marconiphone 701. However, a later version, designated 902A used a 12" CRT without the lens and mirror. This was not the Emiscope 6/6 used in the other 12" first generation sets but an Emiscope 6/7 that was only 23" long thus permitting the CRT to be horizontal and direct viewing.

If we ignore the Marconiphone 708 projection receiver and other later sets then the last of those using the first generation circuitry was the Marconiphone 705 that appeared in the 1938 catalogue. This set was essentially the same as the HMV 900 but with a slightly different cabinet. It was priced without aerial installation at 80 guineas. On the assumption that the Marconiphone 701 had a higher manufacturing cost than the HMV 900 a possible reason for this model may have been to provide a set with the same capability as the 701 but appealing to Marconiphone customers whilst using up obsolete assemblies with a greater profit margin.

* Note that in this photo whilst the general layout is correct some non-original parts have been fitted.